Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Summer Sandwich; Cool Food Downtown
Labneh is my new favorite thing. This Middle Eastern yogurt-cheese spread , which I had never heard of prior to visiting Lebanon, became my choice for lunch in Beirut at a place near our hotel called La Maison du Café, a great spot for lunch, coffee and people watching. There is nothing terribly exotic or exciting about labneh but the timing of the discovery could not have been better. Before I left for the trip the weather here was hot but not unbearably so. The temps in Memphis started climbing ever higher as I was gallivanting about the globe. Upon my return to Memphis I was greeted by the humid heatwave as I came off the plane. Native Memphians all too familiar with the blanket of sweltering heat would fondly say, "I am definitely home", as beads of sweat form on their brows. This brings me back to labneh. It's cool, light and creamy, the perfect ingredient on a sandwich in summertime.
Simply, it consists of lettuce, kalamata olives, tomato, and labneh mixed with finely chopped cucumber and mint on toasted grainy/seedy bread. Last night, I got pretty darn close to making a sandwich that tasted exactly the same as the one I had in Beirut. Ok, their bread was way better but I used a close runner up - La Brea seeded wheat bread. La Brea also has a kalamata olive bread that would be great for this sandwich. I bought the labneh at the Mediterranean Market at Highland and Park.
Speaking of cooling food...
Frix-Jennings' gelato bar, Besso's at 59 S. Main, is still not open but they plan to get it up and running at some point in the future. A year and a half now I've been waiting for the gelato. Please bring the gelato. Seriously, people have left comments about the one in Jackson, TN and how great it is so I am looking forward to being a customer.
I forget about it, but Maggie Moo's Ice Cream is still in Peabody Place.
On Wednesday nights, Sole offers Jet-Fresh sushi flown in fresh from Honolulu Seafood Company.
And of course, you can always head to Bluff City Coffee for an iced coffee or iced blended drinks.